MDA Appoints Leaders From Across the Country to Board of Directors

CHICAGO, August, 27, 2015 — Prominent business and community leaders from across the country have been appointed to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Board of Directors. As members of the board, these 20 men and women will volunteer assistance and counsel to support MDA’s mission to fund lifesaving research, provide comprehensive care through its services and programs, and foster independence within its community.

“This is an extraordinary group of people and we are fortunate to have them on our team,” said Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell, MD.  “Their expertise and passion will help MDA champion our cause and fight to free individuals and families from the life-threatening effects of muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that limit muscle strength and mobility. We are profoundly grateful for their leadership, time and efforts.”

The individuals newly appointed to the Board are:

  • C. Thomas Caskey, MD, Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, from  Houston, TX
  • Mike Rowlett, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Womack Machine Supply Co., from Farmers Branch, TX
  • Mark Smith, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of California Resources Corporation, from Santa Clarita, CA
  • Kristine Welker, Vice President, Publisher, and Chief Revenue Officer of Hearst Publishing, from New York, NY
  • Lilian Wu, PhD, Program Executive of IBM Global University Programs, from Armonk, NY

The individuals reappointed to the Board are:

  • Chairman of the Board: R. Rodney Howell, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Chairman Emeritus Member, and Hussman Institute for Human Genomics of the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, from Coconut Grove, FL
  • Vice Chairman of the Board: Christopher J. Rosa, PhD, Dean of Student Affairs at City University of New York, from New York, NY
  • Treasurer: Victor Wright, retired partner of Goldman Sachs & Co., from New York, NY
  • Secretary: Charles D. Schoor, Lawyer at Blue Schoor & Diehl LLP, from Valley Village, CA
  • Stanley Appel, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurology of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, from Houston, TX
  • Harold Crump, Vice President of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc., from St. Paul, MN
  • Benjamin Cumbo III, former chief of Geospatial-Intelligence Training Integration, National Geospatial-Intelligence College, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, from Upper Marlboro, MD
  • Steve Farella, Chairman of Assembly Media, Co-Founder of VFL Investment & Advisory Fund, from New York, NY
  • Daniel G. Fries, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Sibson Consulting, from New York, NY
  • Former Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry, Edmond, OK
  • Dave Hutton, former president of Miller Automotive Group, from Valencia, CA
  • Louis Kunkel, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics and Program in Genomics of Children’s Hospital Boston, from Boston, MA
  • Olin F. Morris, former President and General Manager of New York Times Broadcast Group, from Memphis, TN
  • Patricia Nazametz, Principal of Naz Dez LLC, from Sleepy Hollow, NY
  • John Tognino, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Pepper Financial Group, Ardsley, NY

“As we move forward, MDA will continue to be the leader in the neuromuscular disease space, and in order to do so, we need to be an even more impactful and effective convener, collaborator and knowledge broker,” said MDA President and CEO Steven M. Derks. “Bold new strategies need bold leadership, and we are excited to have this group of individuals lead us forward.

About MDA

The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to saving and improving the lives of people with muscle disease, including muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neuromuscular diseases. It does so by funding worldwide research to find treatments and cures; by providing comprehensive health care services and support to MDA families nationwide; and by rallying communities to fight back through advocacy, fundraising and local engagement.

Visit and follow us at and @MDAorg. Learn more about MDA’s mission by watching this video.

Claire Orphan
Media Relations Manager